Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1982 as an ice-strengthened research ship, and for many years she plied the treacherous waters of the USSR’s northern coast. In 2000 she was refurbished in St Petersburg to provide comfortable accommodation for 54 passengers.A combined bar/lounge/library area (stocked with a good collection of polar books) was also created by simple internal restructuring.
This class of vessel has a fine reputation for polar expedition cruising, due to its strength, manoeuvrability and small number of cabins. All cabins have outside portholes plus ample storage space. The Russian captain and crew are among the most experienced ice-navigators in the world and their enthusiasm is legendary.
The spacious bridge is always open to us and the decks are ideal for viewing. The chefs are European, and the dining room is attended by Russian stewardesses.
Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel as such, but the accommodation is simple yet comfortable, and the meals are wholesome and uncomplicated. A small fleet of inflatable Zodiacs with outboard motors enable us to travel from ship to shore.
- Maximum Passengers: 54
- Staff & Crew: 25
- Place built: Finland
- Displacement: 2 140 tons
- Length: 71.6 meters
- Width: 12.8 meters
- Draft: 4.5 meters
- ISM and SOLAS certified as Ice Strengthened vessel
- Speed: 12.5 knots
- Refurbished: 2000
Cabins & Amenities
- All cabins are exterior, with porthole windows
- The public areas include a dining room which also act as lecture room.
- Cozy bar with reference books and fresh coffee and tea available at all times.
- Sauna that holds up to five passengers.
- Open bridge policy
- Email facilities available
- 220 volts power
- Laundry service available
- Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate.
- Mandatory Flight for Fly/Cruise (Punta Arenas to Antarctica) and Cruise/Fly (Antarctica to Punta Arenas) – $1200
- Optional Flight Punta Arenas / Falklands or Falklands / Punta Arenas $660
- Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.
- Optional Activities: Kayaking $925-1295, South Georgia Alpine Crossing $1250, Climbing $250, Photography Free, Camping Free.
- Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.